Golf competes in three tournaments to close season

Kayla Quigley

As the men’s golf season comes to an end, the team is ready to prepare for the spring season. 

The team attended the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate in Jonesborough, Tenn., beginning Oct. 11. 

 On the 17th anniversary of this annual three-day tournament, teams such as Army, Coastal Carolina, Penn State and Wake Forest also participated and competed with the Wildcats.  

Unfortunately, this event was shortened to two rounds because of rain.  However, this did not stop Villanova from competing.  The Wildcats finished in 13th place, with junior Luke Waggoner and freshmen Andy Butler and Zach Egermayer leading the way. 

Head Coach Jame Wilkes describes the tournament as the highlight of the season. He describes how they had a really strong showing at this tournament—the best round of the entire year. 

“Everyone was really upbeat and we had a really positive team performance,” he said.  

The Wildcats schedule was the Lehigh Invitational in Saucon, Pa., Oct. 18-19.  After the first day of the tournament, the Wildcats earned a total score of 324 and stood in 11th place out of the 12 teams competing.  Zach Egermayer finished with a score of 75 to lead the Wildcats (also tying for 10th place going into the final round), with senior Ted Brennan following closely behind him.  Brennan earned a score of 77 and tied for 19th place after this first day. 

The Wildcats wound up fifth overall out of the 12 teams competing, improving by 15 strokes after the first round of the tournament. 

Egermayer finished with the best score for Villanova and also tied for second overall, making this the best finish by a Wildcat all season.  Freshman Andy Butler and junior Luke Waggoner also golfed well, finishing with totals of 159 and 164 for both rounds.  

The Wildcats’ last showing of the season was the City Six—a one-day tournament Oct. 25 between schools in the surrounding Philadelphia area such as Drexel, Penn, St. Joes and La Salle.  These teams competed at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course. 

Butler led the way for the Wildcats, with a round of three-over 75—finishing tied for 13th out of thirty competitors.  Sophomore Lucas Trim followed for the Wildcats with four-over 76, tying for 17th overall.  Villanova wound up finishing fifth in this one-day event, with Penn winning this event at 290 and a member of the Drexel team being the individual medalist. 

Looking back on the fall season, Coach Wilkes says that although the ’Cats can fix some aspects of their game, there are numerous positives from the past season. Throughout their fall seasin, it was nice to see that the second (or final) round of any tournament was their stronger performance. This illustrates their strong potential and endurance as a team. 

The winter will be a great opportunity for the Wildcats to regroup, focus on what they need to improve on and, ultimately, rest.  Coach Wilkes describes how the fall season is very demanding with the start of the school year, when the athletes have to not only adjust to their new course load in school but also the competitive and demanding nature of golf itself.  This is especially challenging for the freshmen, because the entire experience is completely new to them.   

“Mentally, it will be good to have a break until March,” Wilkes said. 

In order to prepare for the spring season, the members of the golf team are going to do a lot of analysis on what they did well, what they need to improve on and their swing mechanics in general.  

 “Everyone will have some kind of swing mechanic issue where we can work on actual skill instruction,” Wilkes said.  

Strength and conditioning will be a huge aspect of winter training also. Wilkes states how they will have three sessions a week where they will train indoors, in what’s called the “powerhouse,” actually hitting balls in this golf facility.  They will try to utilize their practice facility, White Manor, as much as they can, weather permitting of course. 

There are many aspects of the spring season to look forward to, including the development of the freshmen. Wilkes is ecstatic at their performance so far and says it’s a great sign they have been qualifying to play right away.  

There is also the sole home event for the team, the Wildcat Invitational.  And finally, there is the conference championship.  The goal is that the Wildcats will steadily improve throughout the season and peak at this championship, so that they will ultimately bring home a title for Villanova.